Verdun is located in Northeast France, on the banks of the Meuse River. Sadly, it is mostly remembered throughout history for the lives lost on its dear soil. Battle of Verdun was one of the longest battles in history; lasted for almost 10 months. The remains of more than 100,000 soldiers still lie underneath Douaumont Ossuary – the WWI Battlefield. The casualties of wars were always awful. As we all know, millions of people died during first World War. Witnessing the long-term effects first-hand was the main reason behind my visit to Verdun recently.
I reached Verdun on a Thursday evening. My travel advisers suggested me to book with Hotel de Montaulbain. I wasn’t misled – it’s a quiet, clean, spacious and affordable hotel located in the heart of Verdun. The Staff were very friendly and restaurants and local shops were in close vicinity. Since it’s an old building without any lifts, I would suggest that you reserve a room on the ground floor. However, the staff will definitely help you carry the luggage to your respective rooms. I was offered a variety of local produce for breakfast which were awesome and plenty.
I joined with a group of people to visit the Battlefield of Verdun, which is also referred to as “The Hell of Verdun”. The view of the cemetery was quite shocking. Everyone, at some time of their lives should visit this massive garden of remembrance to witness the price of War. The guides were very explanatory and quite knowledgeable too. We were happy that we got all our questions answered. We ended that day with a visit to the Ossuary, which was massive and had an eerie feeling to it. It had a very distinct architecture, a sight you wouldn’t come across anywhere else.
Next day I visited Fort Douaumont, which played a key part in the Battle of Verdun. I chose the self-guided tour, as I wanted to wander around at my will. The gigantic gun turret is worth a mention; consisting of many tunnels, shafts, rooms and a huge network of chambers. Inside it was cold, dark and damp. The scars of the battle, especially from the shell attacks, showed us the horrors caused by wars of such magnitude. The experience of visiting this place will be in my memories forever.
Fort de Vaux was my final destination, a comparatively smaller fort. This time, I also took the audio-guided tour, which was nice and helps us relive the moments. Eventhough the temperature outside was above 35 Degrees Celsius, inside it was very cool and damp. I regretted not having brought a coat with me – food for thought! There were many similarities between Douaumont and Vaux, but each felt unique. I highly recommend these tours to everyone. Just give it a try – you’ll not regret it.
I would like to thank my friends at Travel Center UK! Their team consisted of many energetic people. Till I flew with them, I only heard of their supposedly great customer service. Now that I’ve traveled through them, I can tell the readers first-hand; they’re great! Thank you so much guys!! Keep up the good work!